Yesterday was International MSME Day, and while there is a lot said about start-ups, there isn’t nearly enough about MSMEs and the impact they have been creating since decades.
India has around 63 million MSMEs and growing at an average rate of 18% YoY, they contribute a whopping 30% to the national GDP. Their size, scale and impact cannot be overstated; they are responsible not just for economic growth but for social development and are key drivers in semi-urban and rural areas of the country. They create jobs, they create wealth, they keep the wheels of the daily economy running smoothly.
Traditionally, MSMEs address need-gaps that are well-established, from travel, to manufacturing, to retail, and thrive by providing access, better quality and service, and a more competitive pricing than the others in their space in the vicinity. But as is the case with all businesses, innovation is still paramount. As technologies change, consumer habits change, MSMEs have kept pace.
Today, and especially during and after the pandemic as we step into a highly digitised era, it is crucial for MSMEs to bring their products and services into this new age, by creating digital presence, customer reach-out and supply chains. From procurement to delivery, today there are start-ups who are in the core business of making it easier for MSMEs to do exactly that, usher in the digital era without much ado. Along with these, it is important for MSMEs to upskill their teams. From sourcing business, answering customer queries, to marketing, the old ways are changing, for which they need people with these new-age skills.
We, being in the area of providing high-quality talent via affordable part-time and project-based models to small & growing businesses, have seen several MSMEs embrace these new mechanisms and thrive. Some case studies -
#1: Research opportunity areas for expansion: Recently, a manufacturing company was looking for an Executive Assistant & Lead Generation Professional who could generate leads from various sources and do online research to unearth new opportunity areas. We provided an experienced research professional to exactly match the business needs, and for 4-5 hours a day. She soon became an integral part of the company.
#2: To drum up business through Corporate/Enterprise reach-outs:
A business delivering premium events & experiences to corporations needed expansion of their Inside Sales capability
. We provided them with an Inside Sales Talent (B2B) to work for 20 hrs per week to generate leads and convert them into meetings for their Sales team to take forward. They hit the ground running!
#3: For marketing, and online lead generation: A self-employed finance professional needed a Digital Marketer who could promote his website, increase traffic, and create content and creatives for the brand. We provided them with a professional with 6.5+ years of extensive and relevant experience who would work for 20-25 hours per week. He also hired writers from us for improving his content marketing, branding and SEO.
#4: For Customer Care & Relationship Management: An Ayurvedic skin, hair & home care manufacturer was looking for a Customer Care & Sales Executive who could address customer queries, help customers to choose the right product, organize and collate information from them. We provided them with a Customer Service professional with 9 years of experience, and who worked for 4-5 hours a day for 6 days a week
#5: For creating a visual digital presence: A travel and itinerary creation company wanted a graphic designer to create all their marketing assets including ads, posts, emails, brochures, flyers, etc. We gave them somebody working for 4-5 hours per day, who had worked across various start-ups and companies, and could bring polished skills to this company in an affordable way.
These are some of the ways in which MSMEs can enter the digital age or expand beyond their existing strongholds.
Several of them who come to us for talent understand that in the new information and knowledge era, what is crucial is to hire the right people, who have the skills needed; the exact hours for which they work, and the location they work from are all secondary or even irrelevant. For example, we at FlexiBees are a fully remote team of 40 people who work from across cities and even countries; a majority of our team comprises women returning to work after a career break who work part-time, as per their life-stage. But they are extremely talented and qualified, and enable us to grow in a sustainable and lean manner.
We are committed to helping other businesses grow in the same way, through great quality part-time, project-based, and remote talent, via our pool of 27K+ qualified and experienced women professionals. Not only do we provide the talent and the models, but we also intensely vet each candidate to ensure they have the right skills, and the time availability, commitment, etc needed for the role. So, if you are an MSME, and want to eye new horizons, make yourself pandemic-proof, and grow, and need amazing talent for it. Look no further, come to FlexiBees.
Hope this was useful reading. Wishing all you crackling, innovative MSMEs a very happy International MSME day. May your growth never slow down!